The Aero L-39 Albatros was a high performance jet trainer developed by Aero Vodochody in Czechoslovakia
The L-39 was particularly noted for its robust and fuel-efficient Soviet turbofan engine, which entered service in 1974. The cockpit was designed with 2 seats, in which students sit in front, instructors sit behind to observe and guide when needed. Both pilots were equipped with ejection seats for use in emergency situations.
Fuel are housed in the fuselage in five rubber cells and small tiptanks that are non-jettisonable. Double-slotted flaps are fitted and the main gears of the lever-suspension are stressed for impact at high descent rates.
The L-39 was a more simplified approach with modularity in mind compared to the earlier L-29, allowing the new aircraft to be produced faster and more efficiently than their counterpart.
The L-39 has a standard aerodynamic design with straight wings, air intakes above the main wing. The aircraft was built with a simple, flexible, high-efficiency, low-cost guideline.
The main task of the L-39 was to train jet fighter pilots. The aircraft will help pilots familiarize themselves with the speed and ability to handle situations before controlling a real supersonic fighters.
The aircraft was equipped with the Ivchenko AI-25TL jet engine, which had a thrust of 16.78 kilonewtons, a maximum speed of about Mach 0.8, operating range 1,100 km.
The next development
At the Paris Air Show 2015, Aero Group introduced L-39NG with many outstanding features. L-39NG was equipped with a new engine, gearbox and ability to carry weapons load up to 1.2 tons.
According to the Aviation Safety Network, since its introduction in the 1970s, L-39 has occurred 130 accidents.
The highest number of deaths related to the L-39 took place on March 21, 2010. A privately owned L-39 crashed into the ground near Antonio Jose de Sucre airport, Venezuela, killing one pilot and four people on the ground.
- Crew: 2
- Length: 12.13 m (39 ft 10 in)
- Wingspan: 9.46 m (31 ft 0 in)
- Height: 4.77 m (15 ft 8 in)
- Wing area: 18.8 m2 (202 sq ft)
- Airfoil: NACA 64A012 modified
- Empty weight: 3,455 kg (7,617 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 4,700 kg (10,362 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Ivchenko AI-25TL turbofan engine, 16.87 kN (3,790 lbf) thrust
- Maximum speed: 750 km/h (470 mph, 400 kn) at 5,000 m (16,404 ft)
- Never exceed speed: 980 km/h (610 mph, 530 kn) / M0.8
- Range: 1,100 km (680 mi, 590 nmi)(internal fuel)
- Ferry range: 1,750 km (1,090 mi, 940 nmi) (internal and external fuel)
- Endurance: 2 hours 30 minutes (internal fuel), 3 hours 50 minutes (internal and external fuel)
- Service ceiling: 11,000 m (36,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 21 m/s (4,100 ft/min)
- Time to altitude: 5,000 m (16,404 ft) in 5 minutes
- Wing loading: 250 kg/m2 (51 lb/sq ft)
- Thrust/weight: 0.37
- Take-off roll: 530 m (1,739 ft)
- Landing roll: 650 m (2,133 ft)
- Up to 284 kg (626 lb) of stores on two external hardpoints